Peculiar, isn't it? In one moment everything can change. In fact, one moment could make all the difference. Life and death, here and now. What's really the difference? One moment. As I stand on the cliffs, my very own sea waiting to engulf me, one moment suddenly seems as if it was one life time.
How important are we really? How much have we done that we will be remembered by? Yeah, I might just be some kid in a band. Yeah, I might just be another nobody. I'll have an article in the paper, maybe, and my friends lives will never be the same, maybe, but my impact will never last.
Why must I dwell on the all the negatives? In my last seconds I must be sad? Why bother, it'd be a waste. Reminiscing, how clich it sounds to have your life flash before your eyes but I can't help it. A memory too fresh in my mind. And for one last time, I live.
As I stood up to walk out of English class my teacher gave me an odd stare. So I did do badly on that test after all, I thought to myself. Academics, who needs them anyways. The school day was over and I knew if I had to be in that building for another second my head would pop. I always looked forward to after school, band practice was always fun and I got to see my Gemma.
The most amazing girl in the world and she was all mine, waiting against my old Ford Maverick, I wasn't sure which was more appealing. I told you not to keep me waiting she joked and a grin grew wide across my face. I couldn't help it and she showed a similar grin in response. She was a stunning girl, or at least I thought so. My friends never did look at girls the same way I did. While they went insane over anything with blonde hair and big breasts, I actually looked at the girl in terms of individuality, call me crazy.
With her short pink and purple hair, she sat next to me while I drove us to her house for practice. Personally I didn't think I deserved her from the moment we started dating. There was nothing special about me. But hey, who am I to complain? I pulled into her cozy little house and walked down into the basement with her at my side where our friends would be waiting. We hadn't spoken the whole time, that's the thing I liked about us. We've had days where she's come over to my place, sat beside me and we didn't speak the entire time, it's comfortable, nothing even needs to be said. It's become effortless between the two of us.
A moment of darkness later we were in a dimly lit room filled with an assortment of musical equipment. A couple guitars, basses, a drum set and at least ten different amplifiers. Sitting on the couch from left to right were Derek, Cam and Chris. Derek was the lead singer of our band, Good Buzz, as well as our rhythm guitarist. He was a pretty chill guy, and man, he could sing. Then there was Cam, the one that always looked just a bit out of place. Chris, Derek and I had our long hair and Gemma had her whole punk thing going on, and then there was our keyboardist Cam. Short gelled hair, baby faced and maybe five foot six. To be honest we didn't even need him in the band but hey, we were good friends with the guy and he was fun to have around. Then there was Chris, our bassist. He'd always been one a bit on the sour side. Maybe it was because he joined our band not really knowing any of us; maybe it was because I told him he had to be bassist rather than drummer. That position, was reserved for my Gemma, who, to be honest, was a lot better than Chris.
What took you guys so long Derek joked as he raised an eyebrow, no doubt implying something else.
Gemma laughed, Oh, shut the hell up. How you guys get here so quickly, I'll never know. Not to mention how you get in
Cam stood up and sat behind his rack of keyboards and synthesizers, instruments that usually just sat there and collected dust. Well, skipping school usually helps. Oh and we stole a key like a year ago.
I could tell Gemma couldn't have cared less; we've all grown pretty close in the last while. These guys were essentially my family.
While blankly staring a whole into the wall, I suddenly felt that everyone's eyes were on me. I looked at one band member for a moment and then at another one. I did this quite a few times. Oh. You're waiting for me. I realized.
Gemma, I'm going to be the one to say it that you're essentially dating a bundle of twigs, you could do better. Chris joked, and I laughed, but really I knew that this joke wasn't as innocent as he made it out to be. Chris has been counting the days until Gemma and I break up, he obviously likes her and that's fine, I don't really care, I can even take it as a compliment but it gets annoying having your friend eye hump your girl.
Whatever, he's waiting for something that just isn't going to happen. We're all in grade twelve and we already knew he was the only one of us graduating, we all decided to stay back for another year and he might not know it but those are the days I'm counting, because as soon as he's out of the loop I'm replacing him. Chris never really fit in anyway.
Bundle of sticks my ass, a bundle of sticks would have figured it out by now. Paul, get your head out of your ass! Derek yelled at me as I realized I had gone right back to burning that hole into the wall.
This time I picked up my guitar, plugged it into an old Vox and started playing. An hour later we breaked. Of course we were all sweaty, tired and of course Gemma's basement smelled terrible, but we had to make sure we were perfect for our gig tonight.
So what's the set list for tonight? Gemma managed to say through her clear exhaustion.
We were a good old fashioned rock band, playing everything from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin to Van Halen to The Clash. We had countless songs we could play and about fifteen of our own originals. We practiced everything so that we can change a song if we wanted to in our set list. Then the argument I had memorized by now started up again.
We have to do Rock and Roll said Derek as he had for the last dozen gigs we did. To be honest, I was sick of that song five months ago but he enjoyed it too much to say no sometimes.
No man, we have too much Zeppelin, let's do Tuesday's Gone. Chris suggested,
Cam finally joined in, Are you kidding me? Our Van Halen's awesome. So is our Rush The good thing about having a keyboardist is you aren't limited to what songs you want to do.
I agree; we've worked hard on Hot for Teacher, and goddammit we're doing it. Sorry Cam, but I'm not ready for some of the Rush stuff Gemma apologized, Cam loved the synth work on all of the Rush songs but not every drummer can be a Neil Peart, you can't blame her.
Guy's shut up. I don't want to do any of those My words earned me a few odd stares until Chris finally questioned me.
Well, then what would you suggest, since you're all knowing. No time to learn a new song
That's not what I meant; I meant we're not doing any covers. Let's just do originals tonight. Gemma stared at me trying to figure out what I was thinking. We weren't that popular of a band and few people would know our songs so of course it sounded strange, Trust me guys, this is what we need
They saw I was serious and with a sigh they all agreed.
Back to practicing it was then, practicing the songs that Derek and I had slaved over trying to perfect. Another hour passed and the guys decided to call it a day for now and started to head home. We had three hours before we were due to go on so we figured we'd only need about a half hour to set up. Everything was already in Chris' van anyways, another reason why we chose to keep him around. Derek and Cam left first, followed by Chris leaving Gemma and I alone.
I held her in my arms for a long time until the comfortable silence was finally broken. I love you
I stared into her green eyes, kissed her forehead. She knew I meant the same thing.
These are the moments that stand out in my life. The ones that are the most meaningful. Right now I really had no complaints with my life. Yeah, a couple of minor annoyances but I wouldn't change a thing. My life was at such a high at this point, nothing really bothered me all that much; I knew one day that I would hit the ground, and hard.
Little did I know, it would come to that crashing downfall sooner than I expected.
I drove Gemma and myself to the gig; it was a pretty big place. Larger than your average club and there were a lot of people in there. At least four hundred people filled this place. Like I said it was big. Most of these people were about my age and the sea of hair let us know that it was a crowd we'd enjoy playing for.
The shows where you can't tell who's a dude and who's a chick, those are the real rock shows.
When we got there everything was already set up on stage and Chris was waiting in the back room alone, yet again another perk of having Chris in the band, even if he was a bit of a jerk.
We all had our own thing we did before a show, Gemma and I talked, about little things, Chris sat by himself while Derek and Cam often showed up late and usually drunk. By the time everything calmed down it was our time to go on.
Remember, these are our songs guys. That was my best attempt at pumping the other guys up and we went out and did the only thing we were good at.
I had grown comfortable on stage in the last little bit but never had I really felt the same rush that I suddenly felt. I was running around, raising my guitar as I played to the heavens. Fun. I'm actually having a lot of fun. I remembered a time when I was scared out of my mind to go on stage and now there I was almost laughing out of enjoyment.
About forty or fifty minutes later we were on our last song. Which one was that? And then the drums started. Instantly I knew the beat, 'Death of the Reaper' One of our more metal based songs, and by far our best. Derek and I spent literally dozens of hours working on this one song. It was the closest thing we had that we'd consider a masterpiece. A ten minute long journey and I was a part of it.
I did my part, but I felt as if it wasn't enough mid way through the closing solo. How many times have I actually been this happy? This stage is truly my sanctuary, I can do anything on it and yet I choose to keep it boring. Running around, maybe a jump or two. I need a big finish. Rock and roll is all about big. Everything has to be a huge production, and what have I got. No, tonight's going to be different. But what can I do? Power slide?
That didn't actually sound like that bad of an idea. Why not. I backed up and looked over at Gemma; she was having the time of her life. She glanced at me and shot me a smile, and I mirrored the look.
That one moment again. A new direction comes to my mind and I'm instantly in motion. Two long strides and I'm at the edge of the stage. With all of my might I jump off looking down at the faces of the people. Some are confused, some terrified, some sketched with enthrallment. I can hear the gasp come from Gemma's mouth. The songs over and as I hold the final note all of this passes through my mind.
It's amazing how long one moment can last, and how much one moment can make a difference. Always expect that the next moment will be your last, because that will make this moment worth so much more.
Finally I whip past the people, no arms to catch me, no fans to support me. No thoughts are registered as I close my eyes awaiting the inevitable.
With a loud thud I hit the concrete floor.
With a loud thud I die.